House panel approves creation of anti-drug abuse councils

House panel approves creation of anti-drug abuse councils

MANILA – A committee at the House of Representatives on Friday approved a measure creating anti-drug abuse councils (ADACs) in all provinces, cities, municipalities, and barangays across the country.

The House Committee on Dangerous Drugs, chaired by Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers, approved the substitute bill to House Bills (HB) 5405 and 5804, both of which seek to institutionalize anti-drug abuse councils to ensure the smooth implementation of anti-drug abuse programs and services that are readily accessible to all Filipinos.

Iloilo City Rep. Julienne Baronda, the author of HB 5405, said the institutionalization of the ADACs is an effort to help President Rodrigo Duterte in his campaign against illegal drugs.

“The entire community, not only the government, should take part in this fight in order to completely eradicate the drug problem in our country,” Baronda said.

Quezon City Rep. Jose Christopher Belmonte, the author of HB 5804, said the bill delineates the specific roles of the provincial, city, and municipal anti-drug abuse councils to guarantee that there is no overlap or discrepancy in any inter-local governmental effort.

It also proposes the creation of an anti-drug abuse office to maintain the institutional setup necessary for implementing people-centered, evidence- and rights-based programs.

“This measure also ensures that communities, church-based organizations, and civil society organizations may amplify the scale and scope of the efforts of our government,” Belmonte said.

The House panel also approved a substitute bill seeking to strengthen drug prevention and control by amending further Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002; HB 5627 seeking the administration of regular drug tests in correctional and penal institutions; and HB 6781 proposes to create a National Anti-Illegal Drug Campaign and Research Program. (PNA)

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